To all the frustrated patients out there,
You’re tired. You’re sick. You’re frustrated beyond all belief that no doctor seems to listen to you. At this point, you’re about to give up on the medical community as a whole. I mean, what’s the point if you can’t trust those caring for you to actually care ABOUT you!?!
I beg you, please don’t give up, especially if giving up means suffering in silence. If the choices are giving up and enduring the pain or continuing to fight for answers, always choose to fight! Don’t let the bad doctors out there have so much power that you end up paying the price. You deserve better!
I know what you are feeling. I really do. I have been to the point for myself where I just gave up. Doctors didn’t listen and they didn’t care to investigate past ‘sounds like stress’ and ‘you’re probably tired with all those kids‘. Eventually I just stopped going to the doctor for anything related to my pain and exhaustion. I went to urgent care if I thought I might have bronchitis or a sinus infection and I went to my OB for prenatal care, and that was it. There no longer seemed to be any point in trying to convince doctors to listen to me. They didn’t trust my instincts about my body and I didn’t trust them to listen. Want to guess which one of us suffered the most from this plan?
My youngest daughter came along and I once again found myself facing down doctors. She has had mysterious health problems practically since birth (more on that in a future post) and as her mother it is my job to get her well. Just as it was with my own health problems, doctors quickly began to dismiss my daughter’s symptoms. Here is what I learned from her experience that you should do. DON’T GIVE UP! I know there are a ton of LOUSY and uncaring doctors out there. There are also well-intended doctors who (at some point, for some reason) just stopped listening to their patients’ intuition. Trust me, I’ve seen them. I’ve seen tons of them in various specialties for my little Isabelle. As badly as I wanted to just throw my hands in the air and give up, I couldn’t this time, because it was for my baby. I wasn’t letting myself suffer by giving up, I was letting my baby suffer. That meant that I had to find a way to navigate the mess that is the world of medicine these days and get proper care and here is what I learned.
- Trust your gut. This is key and is the most vital first step. If you don’t trust your gut about what is happening in your own body, you’ll never get the help you need. If I hadn’t trusted my instincts with Isabelle she wouldn’t have had her tongue tie revised, wouldn’t be gaining weight, and would still be screaming in pain all day every day. If I had listened to the doctors who dismissed her symptoms instead of my own mother’s intuition who knows how bad off she would be right now!
- Find a doctor you trust. I know this is SO hard. When you’ve been burned by doctors in the past it is hard to open up and even try to trust new doctors, but do it. If it doesn’t work out with a doctor, find a new one. If that one doesn’t work out, try again. Ask friends for recommendations. Keep going until you find a doctor who listens to you and trusts your instincts, and that you can trust to make wise choices. Getting in with a fantastic pediatrician has made such a difference for Isabelle.
- Enlist your trusted doctor to help fight your battles. As wrong as it is, doctors will listen to other doctors when they won’t listen to a patient. This is where you let your doctor step in on your behalf. While you want your doctor to be kind and gentle with you, you want them to be willing to act as a warrior on your behalf. When one specialist had blown us off but they were needed to do certain testing, the pediatrician personally called the specialist’s office and told them they would be taking our case seriously and providing us with the care needed.
- NEVER give up. Never. Ever. No matter how hard the fight gets. When it all feels like too much and you’re not sure you can keep fighting, turn to a friend, spouse, sibling, parent, pastor, or whoever and pour out your heart. Pause and rest and then get right back up and start fighting again. Whatever you do, just don’t give up!
I know this fight is hard, guys. I know first hand how exhausting it is to feel like doctors aren’t listening and they never will. Don’t give up, though. Stand strong and keep fighting until you get the care you need and deserve.
A patient who is sick and tired of feeling sick and tired